A picture is worth a thousand words, right? The same is true in SEO. In a discipline with so many words and numbers, sometimes being able to visualize SEO concepts can help you find insights and make decisions more quickly. Today we'll take a look at four visual SEO tools that will speed up your keyword research process.
But is this a smart move? Will it be a good fit for my current audience? Is there any potential for search engine traffic? What does the competition look like? I should probably do a little SEO homework first before plowing forward.
I could use a bunch of hardcore keyword research tools and do a full analysis, which I'd do for my main target keywords. Or I could us a few simple SEO visual tools to get a good idea of what I'm up against before I commit. The four visual SEO tools listed here are a quick and easy way to make well-informed content strategy decisions without spending a lot of time or effort.
1. Baseline Your Content: Wordle
If my goal is to start ranking for Justin Bieber, I better have a solid idea of where I stand currently. I have a better chance of ranking for Justin Bieber-related searches as I build up the related content on my site. I could dive into my Google Analytics Keyword Report and do some exhaustive research to see where I stand, or I could use a simple tool like Wordle.
Wordle is a great visual SEO tool because it provides you with a beautiful word cloud of the content on your site. Just enter your blog's RSS feed URL into Wordle and watch the main themes of your blog pop out as clear as day. I can quickly baseline my ability to rank for Justin Bieber.
How much Justin Bieber content does Big Picture Web have?
Ouch. Looks like I might be in trouble.
2. Assess Your Ability to Create Content: Google Wonder Wheel
If I want to become the place on the web for Justin Bieber content, I better be able to deliver what people want.
Wonder Wheel is one of my favorite Google secrets. Hiding innocently within the More search tools option on the left navigation of any Google search results page (Note: Instant Search must be turned off), Wonder Wheel is a tool that shows you the terms most closely related to a specific target term.
It makes sense that a blog dedicated to Justin Bieber would feature information on his history, pictures and of course, his love life. Unfortunately I'm afraid I don't know the first thing about any of that.
3. Assess Your Potential SEO Traffic and Competition: Keyword Eye
At this point you could pull up the Google Keyword Research tool and start looking at columns stuffed with words and numbers to get an idea for potential traffic and competition. Or you could use a visual tool like Keyword Eye.
Keyword Eye provides pretty much the same information as does the Google Keyword tool but lists all keywords across the main interface instead of a grid format. Keyword Eye renders the size of a search term according to its search volume. High-volume terms are huge. Long tail terms are tiny. A search terms competitiveness is indicated by color: red, yellow or green.
4. Pay Attention to Trends: Google Insights for Search
I'm just about ready to pull the trigger on this whole blogging about Justin Bieber thing. The last thing I should do is to make sure that what I'm blogging about will have a little staying power. I'd hate to jump on the bandwagon after his popularity peaked. How embarrassing would that be?
Enter Google Insights for Search. See a search term's popularity over time and see if things are trending up or down.
On second thought, it looks like our Justin Bieber fever may have broken in April. Is this a dip until a new album comes out or has Google Insights predicted the slow and gradual decline of yet another pop star on the way out?
Four Tools. Four Minutes.
After taking a look at these four visual SEO tools - which took about four minutes - we were able to:
- Form a baseline
- Assess competition
- Gauge traffic potential
- Gauge competition
- See trends in popularity
Keep these tools in mind as you're thinking about your blog and content strategy. SEO can be daunting, but some smart research and helpful visual SEO tools can go a long way without a lot of effort.
How might you use these tools in your own blogging efforts? Is there a visual SEO tool that you recommend above all others? Did you find one not on this list? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.